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Not to be confused with Adamantane.
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Avengers #66 (July 1969)
Created by Roy Thomas
Barry Windsor-Smith
Syd Shores
In story information
Type Metal
Element of stories featuring Wolverine, Ultron, Bullseye, Lady Deathstrike, X-23

Adamantium is a fictional metal alloy in comic books published by Marvel Comics and is best known as the substance bonded to the character Wolverine's skeleton and claws. Adamantium was created by writer Roy Thomas and artists Barry Windsor-Smith and Syd Shores in Marvel Comics' Avengers #66 (July 1969), which presents the substance as part of the character Ultron's outer shell.[1] In the stories where it appears, the defining quality of adamantium is its practical indestructibility.


The word is a pseudo-Latin neologism (real Latin: adamans, adamantem [accusative]) based on the English noun and adjective adamant (and the derived adjective adamantine) with the neo-Latin suffix "-ium," implying a metal. The adjective has long been used to refer to the property of impregnable, diamondlike hardness, or to describe a very firm/resolute position (e.g. He adamantly refused to leave). The noun adamant has long been used to designate any impenetrably or unyieldingly hard substance and, formerly, a legendary stone/rock or mineral of impenetrable hardness and with many other properties, often identified with diamond or lodestone.[2] Adamant and the literary form adamantine occur in works such as Prometheus Bound,[3] the Aeneid, The Faerie Queene, Paradise Lost, Gulliver's Travels, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Lord of the Rings, and the film Forbidden Planet (as "adamantine steel"), all of which predate the use of adamantium in Marvel's comics.

History and properties[edit]

In the Marvel Universe, adamantium is a group of man-made metal alloys of varying durability, but all are nearly indestructible. Adamantium is inadvertently invented by the American metallurgist Dr. Myron MacLain in an attempt to recreate his prior discovery, a unique alloy of steel and vibranium (which requires an unknown catalyst for its manufacture).

Before molding, the components of the alloy are kept in separate batches, typically in blocks of resin. Adamantium is prepared by melting the blocks together, mixing the components while the resin evaporates. The alloy must then be cast within eight minutes. Adamantium's extremely stable molecular structure prevents it from being further molded even if the temperature is high enough to keep it in its liquefied form. In its solid form, it is dark metallic grey, shiny, and resembles high-grade steel or titanium.[4] It is almost impossible to destroy or fracture in this state and when crafted to a razor edge, it can penetrate most lesser materials with minimal application of strength.[5]

Despite its utility in armament and armature, adamantium is rarely used due to its high cost and inability to be reshaped.

Wolverine once discovers an adamantium-laced skull in Apocalypse's laboratory and says it seemed to have been there for eons.[6]

Types of adamantium[edit]

Secondary adamantium[edit]

As true adamantium is extremely difficult and expensive to create or manipulate, some parties find a way to duplicate it on a larger and more cost-effective scale at the expense of quality and durability. For most practical purposes, this secondary adamantium is also largely indestructible. Conventional weapons, such as ballistic missiles, have no effect on it and it is far stronger than even the most durable of titanium or steel compounds. However, extraordinary force, such as a punch from a being with superhuman strength, can warp or break it. Unconventional forms of energy discharges have also been known to warp or damage secondary adamantium, such as Thor's lightning attacks using Mjolnir.[7]

Adamantium beta[edit]

Adamantium beta is a metal created as a side-effect of the process of bonding true adamantium to Wolverine's bones. His healing factor not only allowed him to survive the process, but also induced a molecular change in the metal. Adamantium beta functions identically to true adamantium, but it does not inhibit the biological processes of bone.[8]


Carbonadium is a resilient, unstable metal that is vastly stronger than steel, but more malleable and cheaper than adamantium.[9] Due to its malleability, carbonadium is less durable than true adamantium, but still nearly indestructible. Omega Red has carbonadium coils through which he can transmit his ability to drain life energies. Carbonadium is highly radioactive and objects composed of it have proven to disable the accelerated healing factors of Wolverine[10] and his son, Daken,[11] if implanted within the body. Deadpool used a carbonadium katana to kill Wolverine in the miniseries Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe. It is currently unknown if carbonadium affects other beings with superhuman healing powers in a similar manner. The only device that can produce carbonadium, known as the Carbonadium Synthesizer, was initially believed thrown into a river in Brussels by Wolverine. It has since been revealed that the Carbonadium Synthesizer has been hidden on the deceased body of a double-agent who dies escaping Omega Red along with Wolverine, Sabretooth, and Maverick. The synthesizer is retrieved and handed back to Maverick, whose mission is to retrieve the item for unknown parties.[volume & issue needed]

Adamantium as key component[edit]

Adamantium is used as the key component in several instances in the Marvel Universe, including:

Adamantium in the Ultimate Marvel Universe[edit]

Within the Earth-1610 reality, also known as the Ultimate Marvel Universe,[12] adamantium is highly durable and is able to effectively protect a person's mind from telepathic probing or attacks. It has been shown as a component of the claws and skeleton of the Ultimate Wolverine and Ultimate Lady Deathstrike characters. The shield of Ultimate Captain America is composed entirely of vibranium, which is a super-strong metal created before adamantium but the formula for which could not be replicated, therefore leading to the creation of adamantium. This version of adamantium is not unbreakable. In Ultimates #5, the Hulk breaks a needle made of adamantium. In Ultimate X-Men #11 (December 2001), an adamantium cage is damaged by a bomb. In Ultimate X-Men #12 (January 2002), one of Sabretooth's four adamantium claws is broken.[13]

In other media[edit]

  • The first novel of the Halo Forerunner series, "Cryptum", ships are referenced to move though the air like a ribbon of steel and adamantium.[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Walker, Karen (February 2010). "Ultron: The Black Sheep of the Avengers Family". Back Issue! (TwoMorrows Publishing) (38): 23–30. 
  2. ^ "adamant - definition of adamant".
  3. ^ Great Books of the Western World Vol. 4 pg 40
  4. ^ Avengers (vol. 1) #201-202 (November – December 1980)
  5. ^ X-Men (vol. 1) #139 (November 1980)
  6. ^ Wolverine: The Jungle Adventure (1990)
  7. ^ Thor (vol. 1) #271
  8. ^ Wolverine (vol. 2) #80 (April 1994)
  9. ^ X-Men (vol. 2) #7 (April 1992)
  10. ^ Wolverine: Origins #7-8 (October – November 2006)
  11. ^ Wolverine: Origins #25-26 (July – August 2008)
  12. ^ Earth-1610 (Ultimate Universe) at
  13. ^ Ultimate X-Men #12 (January 2002)
  14. ^ Halo:Cryptum. Chapter 9